PeoplesBank and Cornerstone Bank Announce Holding Company Merger

PeoplesBank and Cornerstone Bank have unanimously agreed to merge their holding companies, a decision announced following a vote by both boards. While PeoplesBancorp, MHC and SSB Community Bancorp MHC will unite their holding companies, both banks will retain their individual names and brands moving forward.

“After the completion of the merger, the consolidated holding company will operate under the name PeoplesBancorp, MHC and will manage assets totaling approximately $6 billion. Thomas Senecal will continue as CEO and Chairman, with Todd Tallman assuming the role of President of PeoplesBancorp, MHC. Brian Canina will serve as the Chief Operating Officer of the holding company and remain President of PeoplesBank.

This strategic merger combines the financial strengths of two prominent community banks, creating one of the largest mutual multi-bank holding companies in the Northeast. PeoplesBank, based in western Massachusetts, and Cornerstone Bank, serving central Massachusetts, will maintain uninterrupted operations. All banking services, including account management, branch operations, and digital platforms, will remain unchanged throughout the merger process.

“This merger of our holding companies enhances the financial stability that our customers have relied upon since our founding in 1885,” remarked Tom Senecal, CEO and Chairman of the Board of PeoplesBank.

The partnership positions both banks for future growth and market opportunities. The merger, endorsed by the boards of both holding companies, is pending approval from PeoplesBancorp, MHC and SSB Community Bancorp, MHC corporators, as well as regulatory clearance. The transaction is anticipated to close in the first quarter of 2025.

“We are thrilled to unite with another mutual bank that shares our commitment to community service,” said Todd Tallman, CEO of Cornerstone Bank. “While our customers will experience no changes in their daily banking activities, this merger provides us with enhanced scalability and strength for future endeavors.”

Piper Sandler & Co. acted as the financial advisor for the transaction, with legal counsel provided by Luse Gorman, PC for PeoplesBancorp, MHC, and Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP for SSB Community Bancorp, MHC.

About PeoplesBank

Founded in 1885, PeoplesBank is a mutual bank with assets totaling $4.4 billion. The bank operates 18 banking centers across Massachusetts and Connecticut, prioritizing long-term viability and customer-centric service.

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